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Buying Cigarettes for the Dog
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Rating
The first book of fiction since 1997 from the consummately underground Stuart Ross blends a characteristic penchant for experiment with the measured skill of a seasoned, highly disciplined craftsman. A man steps out for a pack of smokes and winds up walking around the planet; a woman sun-tanning by a pool finds herself covered in chicken feet; a guerrilla army of cows infiltrates a big city; a man hires a bodyguard to protect him from his poodle. Ross's stories hold a mirror to the absurdities of 21st-century earth; his is an absurdism so true that it becomes real.
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About the Author

Stuart Ross is a Toronto fiction writer, poet, editor, and creative-writing instructor. He has published two collaborative novels, a collection of stories, six poetry collections, and a collection of personal essays, and he is the editor of the anthology Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence. Ross co-founded, with Nicholas Power, the Toronto Small Press Book Fair, an underground literary institution since 1987. He is currently the Fiction & Poetry Editor for This Magazine and Guest Poetry Editor for Toronto's Mansfield Press.

Reviews

"Hank Williams haunts the stories in Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, but Randy Newman is the book's presiding spirit. Like Newman, Stuart Ross delivers wit with a bitter bite. Somehow, his melancholy is humorous; his misanthropy, humane; his absurdity, believable. With deadpan style and Tin Pan Alley timing, Ross has given us a hilarious, harrowing book."--Derek McCormack "Stuart Ross writes with the gleefully overstimulated satirical imagination of a George Saunders or Mark Leyner, with lobe-rattlingly smart language and storylines that are culture-crazed, funny and full of strange betrayals and sociopolitical intrigue. The many comic absurdities feel inspired by global catastrophe as they cleave hypocrisy down to the ridiculous individual."--Lee Henderson "Stuart Ross writes with the gleefully overstimulated satirical imagination of a George Saunders or Mark Leyner, with lobe-rattlingly smart language and storylines that are culture-crazed, funny and full of strange betrayals and sociopolitical intrigue. The many comic absurdities feel inspired by global catastrophe as they cleave hypocrisy down to the ridiculous individual." -- Lee Henderson "Hank Williams haunts the stories in Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, but Randy Newman is the book's presiding spirit. Like Newman, Stuart Ross delivers wit with a bitter bite. Somehow, his melancholy is humorous; his misanthropy, humane; his absurdity, believable. With deadpan style and Tin Pan Alley timing, Ross has given us a hilarious, harrowing book." -- Derek McCormack "Stuart Ross writes with the gleefully overstimulated satirical imagination of a George Saunders or Mark Leyner, with lobe-rattlingly smart language and storylines that are culture-crazed, funny and full of strange betrayals and sociopolitical intrigue. The many comic absurdities feel inspired by global catastrophe as they cleave hypocrisy down to the ridiculous individual." -- Lee Henderson "Hank Williams haunts the stories in Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, but Randy Newman is the book's presiding spirit. Like Newman, Stuart Ross delivers wit with a bitter bite. Somehow, his melancholy is humorous; his misanthropy, humane; his absurdity, believable. With deadpan style and Tin Pan Alley timing, Ross has given us a hilarious, harrowing book." -- Derek McCormack "Stuart Ross writes with the gleefully overstimulated satirical imagination of a George Saunders or Mark Leyner, with lobe-rattlingly smart language and storylines that are culture-crazed, funny and full of strange betrayals and sociopolitical intrigue. The many comic absurdities feel inspired by global catastrophe as they cleave hypocrisy down to the ridiculous individual." - Lee Henderson "Hank Williams haunts the stories in Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, but Randy Newman is the book's presiding spirit. Like Newman, Stuart Ross delivers wit with a bitter bite. Somehow, his melancholy is humorous; his misanthropy, humane; his absurdity, believable. With deadpan style and Tin Pan Alley timing, Ross has given us a hilarious, harrowing book." - Derek McCormack

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